Internet, Database, Digital Libraries

Alternatively referred to as the net or web, the Internet was initially developed to aid in the progress of computing technology by linking all the best academic computer centers. The Internet as we know it today first started being developed in the late 1960’s with the start of ARPANET and transmitted its first message on Friday, October 29, 1969. In 1993, the Internet experienced one of its largest growths to date and today is accessible by people all over the world.

The Internet contains billions of web pages created by people and companies from around the world, making it a limitless place to locate information and entertainment. The Internet also has thousands of services that help make life more convenient. For example, many financial institutions offer online banking that enables a user to manage and view their account from different locations.

Internet basics

  • The Internet and the WWW are not the same.
  • The Internet utilizes the TCP/IP protocol and is accessed using a computer modem, broadband, 3G, 4G, or network that is connected through an ISP.
  • In the case of broadband, many computers and devices use Wi-Fi to connect to a router that is connected to the ISP.
  • The Internet is explored, which is more commonly referred to as surfing, using a browser.
  • Finding information on the Internet is achieved by using a search engine.
  • Users browse websites and web pages by following hyperlinks that point to an address more commonly referred to as a URL.
  • Files, pictures, songs, and video can be shared by downloading (receiving) and uploading (sending).
  • The Internet is also used for communicating with others through social networks, online games, forums, chat, e-mails, IM, and VoIP.

Why do people use the Internet?

Today, the Internet is the best place to communicate and share information with people from around the world and gives a person an endless supply of knowledge and entertainment.

Why the Internet is considered a network?

The Internet is the world’s largest network because it is a collection of computers and servers that are connected to each other using routers and switches around the world. The Internet works the same way a network would in a home or office just with millions of more computers and other routers and switches.


Database is a systematic collection of data. Databases support storage and manipulation of data. Databases make data management easy. Let’s discuss few examples.

An online telephone directory would definitely use database to store data pertaining to people, phone numbers, other contact details, etc.

Your electricity service provider is obviously using a database to manage billing, client related issues, to handle fault data, etc.

Let’s also consider the facebook. It needs to store, manipulate and present data related to members, their friends, member activities, messages, advertisements and lot more.

We can provide countless number of examples for usage of databases.

Digital Libraries

A digital library is a collection of documents in organized electronic form, available on the Internet or on CD-ROM (compact-disk read-only memory) disks. Depending on the specific library, a user may be able to access magazine articles, books, papers, images, sound files, and videos.

On the Internet, the use of a digital library is enhanced by a broadband connection such as cable modem or DSL. Dial-up connections can be used to access plain-text documents and some documents containing images, but for complex files and those with animated video content, a downstream data speed of at least several hundred kilobits per second ( Kbps ) can make the user’s experience less tedious, as well as more informative. Internet-based digital libraries can be updated on a daily basis. This is one of the greatest assets of this emerging technology.

On CD-ROM, the amount of data is limited to several hundred megabytes (MB) per disk, but access is generally much faster than on an Internet connection. Several CD-ROMs can be combined in a set, and because the disks are small, a large library can be accommodated in a reasonable physical space. The main limitation of CD-ROM is the fact that updating cannot be done as frequently as on the Internet. In addition, producing and distributing CD-ROMs involves overhead costs that are largely nonexistent in Internet-based libraries.

Some institutions have begun the task of converting classic books to electronic format for distribution on the Internet. Some files can be viewed directly in HTML format; others can be downloaded in PDF format and printed. Some publishers keep electronic files of books and produce them one unit at a time in printed and bound form on demand.

Electronic distribution of intellectual and artistic property has authors, agents, and publishers concerned about the possibility of copyright infringement. It is much easier to copy a CD-ROM, or to download an electronic book and make unauthorized copies of it, than it is to reproduce bound volumes and distribute them illegitimately. Fundamental changes in copyright law – and/or changes in the way in which the laws are enforced – are likely to occur as digital libraries expand and their use becomes more widespread.

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